Noreen Rivera, an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is quietly pulling back the curtain on a period in Américo Paredes’ life when the Brownsville-born scholar worked as a journalist in the Far East during the U.S. occupation of Japan at the dawn of the Cold War after World War II. Paredes, who lived from 1915-1999, was a folklorist, scholar and professor at the University of Texas at Austin who is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Mexican-American scholars of the 20th century. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
The Gladys Porter Zoo began rolling out a members-only soft reopening on Thursday and will open to the general public starting Monday. Reservations through an online ticketing system are required, as are proper social distancing and facial covering for everyone except visitors younger than 5 and those with special medical conditions. The zoo has been closed since the coronavirus pandemic hit the Rio Grande Valley in March. But the animals haven’t gone anywhere, and the popular Brownsville attraction has been laying the groundwork to reopen for weeks. Read the full story at themonitor.com
Two dozen music majors at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley got some real-world advice on how to write good songs when Bobby Pulido showed up Monday morning in their Zoom class on music theory. "Originally he was going to talk for maybe five or 10 minutes, but he ended up speaking with my students for a good 45 minutes, so it was quite a treat," Rachel Mann, assistant professor of music theory, said. Pulido, from Edinburg, is a well-known Tejano music star whose hits include "Desvelado" in 1995, "Ensename," "Llegaste a mi Vida" and others. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has launched Patron of the Arts Online, a free online concert series to lift spirits during the COVID-19 emergency. On April 23-24 the series will feature UTRGV Opera Theater in one of the greatest operas of all time, “Carmen,” in Spanish. The production features music and spoken dialogue in Spanish, translation by Eduardo de Bray, said Dahlia Guerra, UTRGV assistant vice president for public art. “During these difficult times, we turn to music to bring comfort to our students, friends and patrons. Our Patron of the Arts Online series will share the musical talents of our School of Music faculty and students with a variety of wonderful concerts that everyone can enjoy in the comfort of their homes,” Guerra said. Read the full story at themonitor.com
The Lower Rio Grande Valley’s primary behavioral health provider has a crisis hotline to help people deal with the stress and anxiety caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The crisis line, (956) 365-2600, is available around the clock through Palms Behavioral Health, a 94-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital in Harlingen. Free assessments and inpatient and outpatient services for adolescents, adults and seniors are offered. “We can answer questions about mental health issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak and are happy to do so,” clinical director David Estringel said Wednesday via email. “Our services are so important during this very anxiety-provoking situation and we want to ensure our community that they can turn to us for help.” Read the full story at themonitor.com
An internet search helped architect, artist and sports historian/memorabilia collector Manuel Hinojosa discover Hall of Fame jockey Herberto “Herbie” Hinojosa, a Brownsville native who rode in the Belmont and Preakness stakes and whose mounts earned nearly $18 million in a career spanning 50 years. Herbie Hinojosa, who was 83, died in Brownsville in December. He started riding race horses at about age 8 at a ranch in El Ranchito near San Benito. Eventually he rode at all the best racetracks in the United States and Canada, Manuel Hinojosa said. Manuel Hinojosa is the Brownsville Independent School District architect and also a part owner of Doubleday Bar of Champions in Port Isabel, a sports bar where his extensive memorabilia collection and gallery of sports art drawn by him are on display. Read the full story at themonitor.com
The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees will convene a special called board meeting on Friday to appoint a new board member to fill the vacancy created when former trustee Erasmo Castro resigned. Castro resigned “effectively immediately” in a letter to the district delivered Jan 10. At its Jan. 14 meeting the board accepted the resignation by unanimous vote. The appointment appears to be aimed at addressing concerns Castro could continue to serve in a “holdover” capacity until a successor is appointed or an election held for his former Place 2 seat on the board. Board attorney Baltazar Salazar said the person appointed Friday would serve until November, when an election would be held for the remaining two years of Castro’s term. The terms of board members Sylvia Atkinson, Philip Cowen, Minerva Peña and Laura Perez-Reyes are up for election in November and the remainder of Castro’s term would be added to the list. Read the full story at themonitor.com
Nevitt Ray Hargett never gets tired of being Santa Claus, a role he has played at malls from here to College Station since 2006 and is currently reprising at Sunrise Mall in Brownsville. “I’m telling you. I don’t need a million dollars to be happy,” Hargett said between visitors on a recent weekday afternoon in Brownsville. “Just seeing the smile on one child’s face and my day’s complete.” Hargett answered questions about the queries he gets from the children who sit on his lap. A big one was this: How do you visit all those houses? The answer was simple: “I have helpers.” Read the full story at themonitor.com
Shots rang out twice Wednesday morning on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus here, sparking a coordinated response from the UTRGV Police Department and its law enforcement partners across the city. Only a few of the dozens of officers who converged on the student union and surrounding area just after 10 a.m. knew exactly the script that events would follow over the ensuing minutes, but everyone, including the students who volunteered, knew it was a Full Scale Emergency Preparedness Drill to test their readiness should the event have turned out to be real, UTRGV Police Chief Raul Munguia said afterward. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Some holiday cards carry a little extra meaning during Christmas. In fact, for designing cards, three University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students in Brownsville won scholarships with cash awards in the 2019 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley President’s Holiday Card Contest. UTRGV President Guy Bailey presented the winners at a reception Thursday afternoon at the Student Union on the Brownsville campus. He delayed the presentation, waiting for UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken to arrive. Read the full story at themonitor.com